BUSINESS

Minister calls for holiday homes to respect environment

STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

The holiday home market should be developed in Greece, but only if it respects the natural and architectural environment, said Tourism Development Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, speaking at the 2nd Tourism & Property Conference in Athens yesterday. The minister referred to the tourism zoning plan that is currently the subject of public consultation. He said it is one of the main steps toward the creation of an operative framework for investing with clear rules and priorities so that tourism has a balanced development across the country. He added that the plan will put an end to anarchy in development, the lack of programming and the haphazard growth of tourism in Greece. «We will not follow the Spanish model of holiday home development,» Spiliotopoulos stressed. The president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Gerasimos Fokas, said that clear terms and procedures should be established for the construction of holiday homes. This will ensure that such homes do not lag behind other residences in terms of quality of construction, while town planning studies are also essential, as new villages spring up from nothing and they should have common spaces and social structures. Fokas added that there must be limits in various aspects of development, such as a minimum ratio of hotel beds to beds or rooms in houses.

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